Like a young, wet foal bravely attempting to put his legs under him for the first time, the Mid-Majority Baller Of The Week Award made some happy progress this week towards its very first frolic in the meadow. Yes, this week saw the first vote that originated from the TMM-reading public. It was for Western Kentucky's
freshman phenom Courtney Lee, and it may have had something to do with a throng of WKU faithful streaming into this site after a kindly mention on the Hilltopper Haven
message board. To all friends of Big Red I'd like to offer a hearty "hello," a stern reminder that I have extremely high ethical standards when it comes to ballot-stuffing, and here's my e-mail address if you'd like to do it some more. It's kyle at midmajority dot com. Thank you.
Other honorable mentions include Creighton's
Nate Funk (21 against Missouri
) and Pepperdine's
Glen McGowan (29 points in an upset of Wisconsin
). But this week, I'm going to go with the guy I actually saw play.
The third installment of the coveted MMBOW honor goes to Jose Juan Barea
, the dynamo point guard from Northeastern.
Barea played through significant pain to score 30 in a loss to Harvard in front of the Mid-Majority staff
, and made a buzzer-beating three to ice Cornell
earlier in the week. He's a 6-0, 170-pound junior who hails from Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.
Jose has been the high scorer for Northeastern in all three of the team's games so far, with 24 against Birmingham Southern
, a big 35 against Cornell, and that aforementioned 30 this past Saturday at Harvard. Along with backcourt mate Marcus Barnes, he'll be trying to keep the size-challenged Huskies competitive in the size-challenged America East conference this year.
Last year, he became the first Northeastern player in 14 years to be named to an all-conference first team, on the strength of a season in which he averaged 20.7 points and 5.8 assists a game. He also stars for Puerto Rico's junior national team (which he took to the gold medal game of the Tournament Of The Americas this summer), so look for him to do some damage at the 2008 Beijing Olympics for his home country.
According to his school's website, Juan enjoys watching television and going to the beach, and is still undecided about a major. Too bad Northeastern doesn't offer a B.A. in Dropping Three-Pointers On Yo' Ass, because he's doing all the coursework. Perhaps he'll settle for a masters in being Mid-Majority Baller Of The Week.[Academic Update!: Poster "TheVelezes" from the literally teeming Basketball Boards community sez: "The truth is that Barea is 52 credits short of a Sociology B.A. Whether he stays in Northeastern to get his degree is another question."]